One of the best ways to grow your business is by becoming an expert in delivering an excellent customer experience.
Chris Lowe, Director of insight6 explains:
When we asked 250 insight6 shoppers to identify six instantly recognisable brands they love, the most mentioned companies were Amazon, Apple, EE, John Lewis, Waitrose and First Direct.
Below, we lay out the six reasons why our shoppers love those brands in particular. It may be that the reasons look obvious to you – this is not surprising because all six practices are essential to any business. But, let’s be honest, are you actually keeping these six elements in mind all day, every day, to ensure you deliver a spectacular customer experience? The top brands are, so if you want to be at the top of the list too you need to keep all of these at the forefront.
Let’s go through the list one more time:
1. Your speed is on your customer’s time
That you deliver your product or service in a timeframe that is exactly what the customer expects, is vital. If I need something tomorrow and you say it will be here, then it must be here. Amazon excel at this – you choose what and when, and they deliver.
“Amazon is the most remarkable – I am still amazed that I can order something and have it the next day; they are unrivalled with this”
2. If there is a problem, sort it out
To build a good relationship with your customer, you must make it clear and easy for them to bring an issue to your attention. Once you understand what the problem is, resolve it with a minimum of fuss and as quickly as possible. 25% of our shoppers stated sorting out problems is a priority if you want to be loved and EE stood out particularly as a company that solves problems efficiently.
“I was not looking forward to the call – I hate complaining but as soon as I got on the call they made it so easy for me to explain everything and then took away all my problems one by one – I even got a better deal on my existing contract – I recommend EE to everyone”
3. Be a friendly expert
Customers and clients expect you to be an expert in what you do, and they want you to be human. Friendliness is part of a great experience and is proven to be a USP, even in the most professional of companies and 60% of our shoppers agree that this is the most important aspect of customer experience. Our shoppers noted John Lewis as a company whose staff are unfailingly polite and friendly, as well as being knowledgeable in their departments. This ‘confidence with kindness’ makes the customer feel special.
“Whenever I go into John Lewis it is always a lovely experience – the staff are so friendly and polite and willing to help me with whatever I need. Last time I was looking for a toaster and they helped me choose which one. I feel very special whenever I shop in John Lewis”
4. Listen first and then respond
insight6 shoppers repeatedly told customer experience (CX) stories of feeling valued and safe with the product or service as a result of being listened to. Apple was described as a company that first seeks to understand your needs before advising you how their product can work for you in that context.
“Apple has become such an integral part of organising my life that I would find it hard to do without them! Whenever I speak to them, they are great at listening to what I need or want and then telling me what would work best for my needs and I don’t feel like they’re trying to sell the most expensive product”
5. Be ‘what it says on the tin’
If you say you deliver next day then do it; if you say you care and give bespoke legal advice, demonstrate this in every detail on your website, through to the letters you send; if you provide a safe, nurturing environment for educating children how can you communicate that during the first enquiry? First Direct is perceived masters of ‘being what it says on the tin’ and rarely fail to meet their adage of ‘Britain’s most satisfied current account customers.”
“First Direct teams are always helpful and proactive, and I really appreciate that they take the initiative to contact me as it leaves one less thing for ME to worry about”
6. Be consistent
Customers and clients need to know they can rely on you. We know from our research that 15% of customers specifically single out reliability as their top reason for loving a brand. If you deliver all aspects of your carefully crafted CX, from picking up the phone after 3 rings to always asking if there is anything else you can do to help at the end of the transaction, consistently, every time, customers will come back for more and recommend you to others. Waitrose is perceived to provide a quality service, with staff who are reliably polite, helpful and attentive.
“Every time I go into Waitrose, I know I am going to have consistently excellent customer service. Everyone is polite and willing to stop what they are doing to help me. They are reliably consistent, and it is so refreshing”
You may read this list and think that you are checking all these boxes, but from our research with our shoppers we found that 67% had NOT had an experience for at least seven days that would make them recommend a business. This demonstrates just how many businesses are falling short of delivering great customer experience day in and day out.
In summary, we who are in business must never get complacent about delivering an excellent customer experience to our clients. We all know from personal experience that we cannot expect change in our businesses until we create new and regular habits. We must ask ourselves EVERY DAY, what does our company represent? Why would a customer come back, again and again? What elements of our business can they rely on? Are we clear about our aims and objectives? Do we keep our promises? Are we delivering what we say we will?
Thanks to Chris Lowe at insight6 for sharing his Expert Opinion